Revive - A Quarterly Fly Fishing Journal - Page 137

Losing tension on a very large fish is a terrifying ordeal, it’s happened to me twice and this is the second. Stripping franticly as slack line piles up is dangerous; it leads to tangles and it lead to tangles here too. After an eternity longer than any other I came tight again, tension between me and my line and the boat motor and the fish. And I waved my rod around because that’s all I knew to do and unwrapped my fly line from the propeller and lost tension again and another eternity ensued and then things became much worse.

A rod separating into two pieces while fighting a large fish has happened to me once and this was that time. I tried to put it back together. That’s the only thing I knew to do, and thinking back, I would have done the same thing. Taking something that is in two pieces that used to be in one piece and trying to mend that thing is a natural reaction. And I did mend it. And then we put the net in the water and the fish jumped into it and I was happy about it.

That is the only striped bass I’ve ever caught. I cherished him for a brief time and now he fortunately still swims in that water. The rod I used, unfortunately, still lives and is probably still used. And this is what I’ve obsessed over. This one fish and all this pursuit and all of the time and the effort and my strained marriage. At my current pace I can expect 2 or 3 more fish before I turn forty, and I look forward to them very much.